Category Archives: babble

Skip the Mundane! 8 Conversation Starters for Introverts

Small talk isn’t for everyone. Especially introverts, who find the practice tedious, wanting to get straight to the deep stuff without the empty conversations that typically start with enquiries about your weekend. So get over the idea that introverts just despise other people, and instead make yourself a better raconteur and conversationalist! Here are some(…)


How Does South Africa Balance 11 Official Languages?

We recently talked about the multilingualism of Switzerland and were impressed by its integrated use of three official languages. But what about places that have even more than three official languages? Are they equally impressive in their language use, or altogether more chaotic? Let’s start by taking a look at the country with the most(…)


Why Does it Seem Like My Mandarin Gets Better After a Few Drinks?

Based on anecdotal evidence from popular media, it’s widely believed that alcohol improves the ability to speak in a foreign language, ostensibly due to the anxiety-reducing effects of booze itself. Based on personal experience, a couple of drinks goes a long way toward loosening my tongue no matter what language I’m speaking. I’m currently on(…)


English Speakers: You Already Know these 30 Dutch Words

Even though I’ve been trying to study Dutch for years (for heritage’s sake), I have to agree that sometimes it does seem rather alien. At first, I thought learning my grandfather’s language wouldn’t be hard. For one, I was convinced my tongue and vocal chords were genetically predisposed to making weird guttural sounds. (For this, you’d(…)


5 Reasons Why You Should be Learning Portuguese

Whenever people decide to embark on a language learning journey, they tend to choose languages like Spanish or French. It’s not all that surprising considering these two languages are common staples in most learning institutions. Portuguese seems to be a much less popular choice, which is mind-boggling considering all the benefits there are to learning(…)


Procrastinating Learning a New Language? Here’s 3 Common Stumbling Blocks & How to Beat Them

There are so many people who genuinely want to learn a new language, and yet never follow through. It seems that intention doesn’t always translate into action, regardless of how much you wish it would! Procrastination can be the death of learning anything, whether you dream of acquiring the skills to be a strong swimmer,(…)


12 Untranslatable Words You Can Use on the Daily

Have you ever just wanted to punch someone in the face? Like something about them just brings out all of your repressed anger? It’s probably because of their backpfeifengesicht, a German word for “a face asking to be punched”. The term is a combination of backpfeife (punch/slap) and gesicht (face) and is absolutely untranslatable. I(…)